The Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has allocated the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports a sum of Rs 1943.21 crore in the Union Budget, up from last year’s revised Rs 1608.10 crore (as against the original provision of Rs 1592 crore). In percentage terms, this works out to 20.82 per cent (and 22.06 per cent of last year’s original provision).
It is very important to note that this allocation is not entirely for sports. Youth programmes like National Service Scheme, National Young Leaders Programme, National Programme for Youth & Adolocent Development etc secure Rs 127 crore while the Ministerial secretariat takes up Rs 29 crore.
Here is a table of allocation to sports and physical fitness sectors (the Rupee amounts are in crores):
|Sports Component in Union Budget 2017-18|
|Central Schemes and Projects|
|Encouragement and Awards to Sportspersons|
|Assistance to National Sports Federations||302.18||359.93||-57.75|
|HRD in Sports||10.00||5.00||5.00|
|Incentives to sportspersons||14.00||25.50||-11.50|
|National Sports Development Fund||2.00||5.00||-3.00|
|Sports for Disabled||0.01||4.00||-3.99|
|National Welfare Fund for Sportsperson||2.00||1.00||1.00|
|Total – Encouragement etc||330.19||400.43||-70.24|
|National Programme for Sports Development|
|Enhancement of Sports Facility in J&K||75.00||40.00||35.00|
|Sports Talent identification & Nuturing||0.50||0.50||0.00|
|CWG2010 Stadia renovation||0.50||0.01||0.49|
|Himalayan Region Sports Festival Scheme||15.00||0.00||15.00|
|Total – Khelo India etc||441.00||158.61||282.39|
|Other Central Sector Expenditure|
|Sports Authority of India||481.00||438.20||42.80|
|Other Autonomous Bodies||45.02||27.10||17.92|
|Contribution to WADA||1.00||0.60||0.40|
|Total – Other Central Sector Expenditure||527.02||465.90||61.12|
|National Physical Fitness Programme & LNIPE|
|National Physical Fitness Programme||0.50||0.01||0.49|
|Laxmibai National Institute of Physical Education||45.02||52.60||-7.58|
|Total – National Physical Fitness Programme||45.52||52.61||-7.09|
|Totals (all four major heads)||1343.73||1077.55||266.18|
There is a sharp drop in the quantum allocated under the head Encouragement and Awards to Sportspersons. In fact, it has come down from the revised Rs 400.43 crore last year to Rs 330.10 crore for 2017-18 – that is 17.56 per cent reduction. One possible reason for this may be that there are no major multi-discipline competitions lined up this year but if that were true, it indicates a typical last-minutitis and against investing in athletes in the years before major multi-discipline Games.
The assistance to National Sports Federations – that itself is arguable since spends on athletes are shown as assistance to National Sports Federations – has been brought down from Rs 359.92 crore to Rs 302.18 crore this year; incentives to sports persons are down from Rs 25.50 crore to Rs 14.00 crore; besides, Government’s contribution to National Sports Development Fund has come down by 60 per cent to a mere Rs 2 crore.
The one programme which has seen a substantial jump is Khelo India where Rs 350.00 crore has been allocated this year compared to previous year’s revised estimate of Rs 118.10 crore. Khelo India is an umbrella scheme after the rationalisation of schemes like Rajiv Gandhi Khel Abhiyan, Urban Sports Infrastructure Scheme and National Sports Talent Search programme.
We have also been told by Government, through the Press Informationa Bureau, that only a token amount (Rs 0.01 crore) has been allocated to the Promotion of Sports among Disabled as funds would be disbursed from Khelo India.
The same PIB media release also claimed that the budget for sports has been enhanced by 40 per cent since last year. It took me a while to figure out how this number was arrived at. The release took into the account the increased allocation from the previous year’s Budget Estimate (Rs 995.40 crore) and calculated the jump to Rs 1392.21 crore as a 40 per cent enhancement in allocation. However, had the Revised Estimate (Rs 1078.15 crore) been used as the base, the increase works out to less than 30 per cent.